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Where we left him, on the fea. We there him
Whence, driven before the winds, he is arriv'd
Suppose him now at anchor. The city ftriv'd
Lyfimachus our Tyrian fhip espies,
His banners fable, trimm'd with rich expence ;
5 Where we left him, on the fea. We there him loft ;] The firft quarto reads-We there him left. The editor of that in 1619, finding the paffage corrupt, altered it entirely. He reads: Where we left him at fea, tumbled and toft ;The corresponding rhyme, coaft, fhows that left, in the firft edition, was only a mifprint for loft. MALONE.
The city ftriv'd
God Neptune's annual feast to keep :] The citizens vied with each other in celebrating the feaft of Neptune. This harsh expreffion was forced upon the author by the rhyme. MALONE. I suspect that the author wrote:
The city's hiv'd
Good Neptune's annual feaft to keep :·
i. e. the citizens, on the prefent occafion, are collected like bees in a hive. Shakspeare has the fame verb in The Merchant of Venice :-" Drones hive not with me." STEEVENS.
And to him in his barge with fervour hies.] This is one of the few paffages in this play, in which the error of the first copy is corrected in the fecond. The eldest quarto reads unintelligibly -with former hies. MALONE.
8 In your fuppofing once more put your fight;
Of heavy Pericles think this the bark:] Once more put your fight under the guidance of your imagination. Suppose
On board PERICLES' Ship, off Mitylene. A clofe Pavilion on deck, with a Curtain before it; PERICLES within it, reclined on a Couch. A Barge lying befide the Tyrian Veffel.
Enter Two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian Veffel, the other to the Barge; to them HELICANUS.
TYR. SAIL. Where's the lord Helicanus? he can refolve you.
[To the Sailor of Mitylene.
you fee what we cannot exhibit to you; think this ftage, on which I ftand, the bark of the melancholy Pericles. So before : "In your imagination hold
"This ftage, the fhip, upon whose deck
Again, in King Henry V:
"In the quick forge and working-houfe of thought." Again, ibidem:
your eyes advance
"After your thoughts."
"Work, work your thoughts, and therein fee a fiege." Again, ibidem:
Play with your fancies, and in them behold
Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing," &c. Again, in King Richard III:
all will come to nought;
"When fuch bad dealing must be seen in thought." The quarto, 1609, reads:
Of heavy Pericles think this his bark:
and fuch alfo is the reading of the copy printed in 1619. The folio reads-On heavy Pericles, &c. If this be right, the paffage fhould be regulated differently:
O here he is.
Sir, there's a barge put off from Mitylene.
Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?
HEL. That he have his. Call up fome gentle
TYR. SAIL. Ho, gentlemen! my lord calls.
Enter Two Gentlemen.
1 GENT. Doth your lordship call?
There is fome of worth would come aboard; I pray you,
And to him in his barge with fervour hies,
In your fuppofing.-Once more put your fight
On heavy Pericles; &c.
You must now aid me with your imagination, and fuppofe Lyfimachus haftening in his barge to go on board the Tyrian fhip. Once more behold the melancholy Pericles, &c. But the former is, in my opinion, the true reading. To exhort the audience merely to behold Pericles, was very unneceffary; as in the enfuing fcene he would of course be represented to them. Gower's principal office in these choruffes is, to perfuade the spectators, not to use, but to disbelieve, their eyes. MALOne.
"Where, what is done in action, more, if might,] Where all that may be displayed in action, shall be exhibited; and more should be shown, if our stage would permit. The poet feems to be aware of the difficulty of reprefenting the ensuing fcene. More, if might,-is the reading of the first quarto. The modern copies read, unintelligibly,—more of might. MALONE.
More of might, i. e. of more might, (were there authority for fuch a reading) fhould feem to mean-of greater confequence. Such things we fhall exhibit. As to the reft, let your imaginations dictate to your eyes. We fhould, otherwife, read:
Where, of what's done in action, more, if might,
To greet them fairly.'
[The Gentlemen and the Two Sailors defcend, and go on board the Barge.
Enter, from thence LYSIMACHUS and Lords; the Tyrian Gentlemen, and the Two Sailors.
TYR. SAIL. Sir,
This is the man that can, in aught you would,
Lrs. Hail, reverend fir! The gods preferve you!
HEL. And you, fir, to out-live the age I am, And die as I would do.
You with me well.
Being on fhore, honouring of Neptune's triumphs, Seeing this goodly veffel ride before us,
I made to it, to know of whence you are.
HEL. Firft, fir, what is your place?
Lys. I am governor of this place you lie before. HEL. Sir,
Our veffel is of Tyre, in it the king;
A man, who for this three months hath not spoken To any one, nor taken fuftenance,
But to prorogue his grief."
greet them fairly.] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1609, has-greet him fairly. MALONE.
2 But to prorogue his grief.] To lengthen or prolong his grief. The modern editions read unneceffarily :
But to prolong his grief.
Prorogued is used by our author in Romeo and Juliet for de
"My life were better ended by their hate,
Lrs. Upon what ground is his diftemperature?
HEL. Sir, it would be too tedious to repeat ;3 But the main grief of all springs from the lofs Of a beloved daughter and a wife.
Lrs. May we not fee him, then?
You may indeed, fir,
But bootlefs is your fight; he will not speak
Lys. Yet, let me obtain my wish.
HEL. Behold him, fir: [PERICLES difcovered.]4 this was a goodly perfon,
Till the difafter, that, one mortal night,
3 Sir, it would be &c.] For the infertion of the supplemental word (Sir) here and in the next fpeech but one, as well as in the firft addrefs of Helicanus to Lyfimachus, I am accountable. MALONE.
+ Pericles difcovered.] Few of the ftage-directions that have been given in this and the preceding Acts, are found in the old copy. In the original reprefentation of this play, Pericles was probably placed in the back part of the ftage, concealed by a curtain, which was here drawn open. The ancient narratives represent him as remaining in the cabin of his ship. Thus, in the Confeffio Amantis, it is faid:
"But for all that though hem be lothe,
"He [Athenagoras, the governor of Mitylene,] fonde the ladder and downe he goeth
"And to him spake
So alfo, in King Appolyn of Thyre, 1510: "he is here benethe in tenebres and obfcurete, and for nothinge that I may doe he wyll not yffue out of the place where he is.”—But as in such a situation Pericles would not be vifible to the audience, a different stage-direction is now given. MALONE.
5 Till the difafter, that, one mortal night,
Drove him to this.] The copies all read-one mortal wight. The word which I suppose the author to have written, affords an eafy fenfe. Mortal is here ufed for pernicious, deftructive. So, in Macbeth:
Hold faft the mortal fword.". MALONE.